Research in Motion held a huge press conference today in which they announced a) the company’s new name is just ‘Blackberry’, not Research in Motion, b) a pair of two new great looking smartphones and c) a huge update to the Blackberry touchscreen OS, which also looks really nice. But is it enough? Blackberry is betting the farm on this, and they really don’t have much of a choice.
After their golden days (right before the iPhone and Android), RIM’s Blackberry platform has been stumbling along like an old town drunk, never quite able to get back its footing. The Blackberry Playbook tablet was a failure, but RIM keeps trying. Their next act will be the Blackberry 10, a new full touchscreen phone that looks nice for now…
Blackberry used to be super hot shit til the iPhone and Android showed up and suddenly Research in Motion just couldn’t hack it. Shitty phones, a shitty OS, a shittier tablet. So what do you do when your once mighty company is on the ropes? Why not hire a graphic designer to create four ugly fucking superheroes to try and appeal to kids? Why the fuck not?
Back when HP decided it was ditching webOS and the HP TouchPad, they dropped the price to $99, which caused them to disappear from shelves. Blackberry recently slashed the price of the PlayBook at Best Buy to $300 and is now offering a buy-two-get-one-free special. And yet the lack of giving a fuck still mounts.
Lots of phones in Japan have NFC capability, where you can use your phone in lieu of a credit card for payment, and the technology is slowly leaking over into the US and Europe (and I guess Canada). The Nexus Prime will have it, as will future Android phones, as will future iPhones, maybe. Apple has said they might at some point, but it’s not a high priority.
If you’re looking for a tablet that’s not the iPad, the Blackberry PlayBook was released today in the US and Canada, but according to the reviews, unless you’ve just got a big hard-on to be an early adopter, you might as well just wait a bit.
When Apple’s iPad came out, one of the big negatives that potential users saw was the total lack of Adobe Flash support. During a lengthy and public war of words between the two companies, Steve Jobs was firm in his belief that Flash was a waste of battery life and that people needed to switch over to HTML 5 anyway. Fast forward to now, when Blackberry is still putting the finishing touches on its first tablet. The PlayBook’s OS is entirely Flash based and it’s making it so that the battery thing on the tablet could be downright dismal.
Blackberry’s upcoming tablet, which is the PlayBook now instead of the awful, original name “BlackPad” is coming Q1 2011 and will look to compete with the iPad with a lower price and with video conferencing.
When Research in Motion (RIM) picked up Blackpad.com a few days ago, most people were hoping that it was just one of those all-encompassing brand protection moves, but alas, Blackpad is going to be the name of Blackberry’s iPad competitor, which will probably be launching around November.